Corrugated Plastic Boxes: Advantages and Disadvantages
March 01, 2022

Corrugated Plastic Boxes: Advantages and Disadvantages

Companies shipping products have long used corrugated cardboard boxes, but is that the best solution going forward? Cardboard boxes have many advantages but also are susceptible to tearing, leaking, and exposing package contents to dust, moisture, and chemicals. There is a new solution in the form of corrugated plastic boxes.

Why Consider Corrugated Plastic Boxes?

Learn about corrugated plastic boxes for future product shipping needs. Boxes by companies such as MDI offer a solution to shipping problems that can save manufacturers money, time, and resources.

These plastic boxes are made of high-quality polyethylene or polypropylene in thicknesses from 3mm to 4mm and offer good protection for storing, handling, stacking, and transporting products.

These plastic corrugated boxes are reusable and 100% recyclable for less waste and more savings. They are also water, dust, and chemical resistant. They are lightweight for easy handling and shipping.

Advantages of Plastic Boxes

There are advantages of the newer plastic boxes over cardboard, metal, or wood boxes including weight, expense, and convenience. The major advantages of corrugated plastic boxes include the following.

  • They are designed with PP materials that are more environmentally friendly as well as being waterproof, dust-proof, and moisture-proof.
  • These boxes can be customized to different specifications including size, shape, edging material, etc.
  • They are lightweight and easy to clean.
  • They have better turnover times.
  • The boxes help to reduce shipping and storage costs.
  • Corrugated plastic boxes made with the hollow board are resistant to cold, heat, impact, and deformation.
  • They can be made into conductive, anti-flame retardant, anti-static, and anti-UV for product protection.
  • There are many color choices for corrugated plastic boxes including white, black, great, pink, green, red, and other custom colors.
  • They can also be printed with company logos and information.

Disadvantages of Plastic Boxes

Corrugated plastic boxes are durable, but they are not indestructible and will wear out eventually. The boxes may experience fading, bending, and ripping at the corners. these boxes can last for a number of years, but the durability is only an advantage if the owners of the boxes make the effort to reuse them. In addition, the material is not entirely eco-friendly. It is a non-biodegradable material. It can still be recycled, but that will take more effort than with some materials. The owner of the boxes will need to find a recycling center that accepts polypropylene plastic in corrugated box form.

It is possible that the manufacture of corrugated plastic boxes can hurt the environment with significant carbon waste.

Some Comparisons of Plastic to Cardboard Boxes

Plastic boxes and shipping mailers weigh less than cardboard.

  • Cardboard comes from trees that can be replanted and is easy to recycle. It also naturally decomposes. Plastic is made from oil and does not break down in the soil.
  • The paper industry is sustainable, but more emphasis must be placed on responsible logging, tree replanting, waste reduction, and limiting deforestation.
  • Plastic corrugated boxes are made from crude oil and natural gas, which can be damaging to the environment and lead to the depletion of a non-renewable resource.
  • The manufacture of both plastic and cardboard boxes has a carbon footprint that includes emissions of greenhouse gasses. Plastic manufacturing releases more greenhouse gasses than cardboard manufacturing.
  • The manufacturing of cardboard takes more energy than the manufacturing of plastic. Plastic manufacturing has less waste. But, the extraction of oil and gas has a larger carbon footprint. Plastic also produces higher toxic emissions when it is incinerated.
  • There is a definite advantage for plastic boxes vs. cardboard boxes when shipping weight is compared. The lighter plastic boxes mean less fuel is used in transport.

In the end, it may be how the end user treats the boxes while in use and when the boxes are worn out that makes the largest environmental difference. Recycling is of utmost importance. When the boxes are taken to a landfill instead of being recycled, the environment is harmed. Cardboard will break down while plastic will be there for years filing landfills.